16 Jul, 2019

Passion for People

Passion for People


In 2004 Manfred Kets de Vries inspired me in his programme “Executive Masters for Consulting and Coaching for Change” at INSEAD. He gave me new glasses to look at the world. How early experiences in life influence your behaviour and choices in life. How leaders can behave functional, but also dysfunctional, how group dynamics can be analysised and influenced. 

Soon after the programme, I became the Factory Director of Ben & Jerry’s. Yes, the best job in the world. I loved the production process and the ice-cream (obviously). And I even enjoyed the people and the teams even more. Agile Leadership was not in fashion yet, but we were working hard on efficiency, waste reduction and sustainability. But these are just numbers. How do you motivate people to give their best, every single day? How do you align the work to the purpose and passion of people, so they are intrinsically motivated to get the most out of their work, for the business and themselves? Manfred’s work inspired me and gave me new ideas on developing people, teams and the business further.

He also inspired me to find my own purpose and passion. The growth of people has fascinated me throughout my 15 year in the consumer goods industry. After working in the US and the UK we landed with my family in Shanghai and there I had the courage to make the step to leave corporate life and to spend my working life on supporting leaders. As an Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Executive Coach, I do what I love most! And I hope to inspire others to find their passion, their purpose and to help people to develop themselves in even better leaders and people. Just as Manfred did with me. 

It is for these reasons that I developed, along with my collegue Annette Onrust, Advancing Women in Leadership a Top-Talent Leadership Programme for senior female executives. A collaborative initiative, the programme hosted by Roundtable: Women in Leadership (an exclusive senior executive women’s network) and KDVI (a global leadership development and organisational change consultancy). Our combined objective is to inspire talented female executives and to help them advance in their careers. 

Now in it’s second year, I feel proud to. Be able to share a couple of testimonials from last year’s participants:

‘The intimacy and trust created in this women-only programme made it very powerful – looking back I learned a lot from the mentors and leadership-concepts, but even more from the in-depth sharing and intervision (peer to peer learning). The length of the programme allowed for reflection and practicing the advise and theories and internalising them, which has helped me to take some fundamental steps forward in my personal leadership journey.’

Agnes Kallenberg, Regional Integration Manager, Shell Chemicals Europe

‘The programme has helped me to reflect, to investigate my leadership skills and change my energy, together with inspiring other participants. Sharing and learning together with other participants enriches and offers different perspectives on one’s reality.' 

Nathalie de Jager, Health Business Manager, Zilveren Kruis, Achmea


Join us, for the next cohort, in September 2019 Advancing Women in Leadership


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